Microsoft Backs Out of Plans for VR Headsets on Xbox One

Written by Jon Sutton on Thu, Jun 21, 2018 4:40 PM

A couple of years, onstage at E3 2016 to be precise, Xbox head honcho Phil Spencer revealed the mysterious Project Scorpio, which would later become the Xbox One X. At the time it was an indistinct plan for a console that would be more powerful than the PS4 Pro, but it was also promised that it would support a “high-end VR” experience.

Today, Microsoft has seemingly backed out of all plans for virtual reality support. In a new interview conducted by GamesIndustry.biz, Microsoft chief marketing officer for gaming, Mike Nichols, explained that any such plans have been put on the backburner. He even went so far as to recommend the PC as "the best platform for more immersive VR and MR (mixed reality)”.

For now, at least, it appears as if Microsoft has shelved the possibility of virtual reality on its console, as well as that rumoured partnership with Oculus.

"We don't have any plans specific to Xbox consoles in virtual reality or mixed reality," Nichols said. "Our perspective on it has been and continues to be that the PC is probably the best platform for more immersive VR and MR. As an open platform, it just allows faster, more rapid iteration.”

It’s probably the smart call, in truth. VR hasn’t taken off in the way some had suspected, and Sony themselves has admitted the PlayStation VR is currently underperforming. Sony has a habit of treating new technology like a hot potato though, so there was always the worry the PSVR could become the new PS Eye, or Wonderbook, or PS Move, or PS Vita. The list goes on.

The truth is that the games just aren’t there for it yet, and therefore neither is the market. From Microsoft’s perspective, any benefits of VR support are likely too small fry to even bother with. With their fingers in the PC pie already, it’s likely Microsoft is taking a wait and see approach to VR. Once, or if, VR becomes a mainstream enough technology, then perhaps it’ll rear its head on the Xbox stage once more. For now, PC is seen as the place to be for VR as it’s the market where the hardware and the software can evolve and iterate the fastest.

Are we witnessing VR die a slow death? Or will it be back with a bang once the technology matures?

Login or Register to join the debate

Rep
50
Offline
21:43 Jun-22-2018

here's an idea; let users use VR headsets instead of a TV as purely as another display, I really can't use a PSVR headset as it just feels, sticky, whenever I would use my head. It would be cool for partial tracking in this kind of setup, where you could move your head around to look around a bit like looking around a really big screen that is pretty close but not rely on you actually walking around

0
Rep
1,041
Offline
senior admin badge
14:01 Jun-22-2018

the entire VR stuff is a bullsh!t gimmick, similarly as touch-screen devices (except phones),
Microsoft is torn into multiple areas and getting lost on what's perspective for future and what's not

0
Rep
57
Offline
12:00 Jun-22-2018

Vr always been a very niche market, too many requirements and obstacles to become mainstream, i seriously think it will stay that way for a very long time.

1
Rep
27
Offline
08:10 Jun-22-2018

I brought a rift when the price went down to about £399 and I've played it pretty frequently and played all the big games out on it superhot robot recal etc. I'm excited to see what's next for it even tho after a hour of gameplay I get very motion sick lol

1
Rep
35
Offline
17:46 Jun-21-2018

I feel like Microsoft's next approach is Handheld systems like the Switch or DS or even like the PSP. That's what I just think.

0
Rep
383
Offline
senior admin badge
12:28 Jun-22-2018

I think it's an entire array of systems.

1

Can They Run... |

| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3400G 4-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 2060 6GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 7 3750H 4-Core 2.3 GHz GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i7-6800K 6-Core 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 1080 Asus ROG Strix Gaming OC 8GB Edition 32GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-10700 8-Core 2.90GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Gigabyte D5 2GB 8GB
0% No [1 votes]
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 2070 Gigabyte Windforce 8GB 16GB
100% Yes [4 votes]